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Natural Connections: Garden Educator Training Seminar


Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM (EDT)

Natural Connections: Garden Educator Training Seminar

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Remaining Sales End Price Fee
Two day training - No lodging   more info 19 Tickets Apr 18, 2020 $150.00 $0.00
Two day training - With lodging   more info 19 Tickets Apr 18, 2020 $200.00 $0.00
Donations to support more inclusive training opportunities May 2, 2020
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Event Details

About this event

The Amir Training Seminar is your chance to learn the ins and outs of running a successful, meaningful and exciting experiential garden at your camp or school. You will leave fully prepared to run impactful garden programming, including activities connecting the garden to themes of environmental and social justice.  

This two day interactive seminar will run from 9am - 5pm with lunch included, and will cover a range of topics including: 

  • Planning and running effective garden and farm activities

  • Adapting programming to all ages

  • Best practices for farm and garden management  

  • Connecting justice to the land, the environment and food

Who should attend

This training is ideal for educators of all levels interested in expanding their skill sets and connecting with other like-minded enthusiasts.

Detailed list of training sessions

  • What makes a learning garden? 

In this session we will cover both the practical and philosophical components of what makes a successful experiential learning garden in camp and school settings. We will cover logistical topics such as garden bed size and placement, space management, garden layouts and plant selection. We will go over how to balance having bountiful harvests with sensory and exploratory spaces such as sensory and pollinator gardens.

  • Going beyond garden chores

Physical labor can be fun, and meaningful. How can we make weeding into impactful experience? Can planting a single seed really take 45 minutes? This session we will focus on ways to take potentially tedious or unfun chores, and use them to create powerful experiences that campers will take to heart. 

  • Social Justice, Inclusion and Equity 

The garden is a magical place where many parts of our world converge, making it the perfect place for youth to explore tough questions. In this session we will discuss the racist legacy of American agriculture and how we can use the garden to uplift voices from the margins. Participants will learn developmentally appropriate activities and techniques for having tough conversations around race, discrimination and equity with campers.

  • Horticulture Therapy: Using the garden as place for healing

This session will focus on how the garden can be used to create a healing space for campers. We will discuss and demonstrate ways the garden can be a productive outlet for confusing feelings and tool to teach kids to express emotions and navigate trauma. Participants will learn ways to utilize the natural healing elements of nature (did you know getting dirty lowers your blood pressure and stress hormones?) to help their students make healthy emotional choices.

  • Cooking in the garden

Who doesn’t love eating? In this session we will learn best practices for engaging campers in meal and snack preparation using garden produce. We will cover a range of recipes, from simple tastings and heatless dishes to meals using a stove. Participants will also learn how to pickle with kids and get tips on having intentional meals prepared by campers. 

  • Building your garden program

In this interactive session, participants and leaders will discuss and share activities, programs and events they have held in the garden in order to collaboratively envision their garden's potential. We will touch on topics including how to integrate the garden with rest of camp. Can we bring herbs to the kitchen? What about veggies at the salad bar? Can we compost at snack time? Put flowers on the table for Shabbat or fancy meals? Collaborate with the art department to make signs for the garden and around camp? Do a skit at lunch time? We want the garden to become a part of the camp culture so it is irreplaceable. Whether you have an existing garden and are looking for new ideas, or are just starting out, this session will allow participants to walk away with a plan for the season and action steps to make it happen. 

  • Compost

Compost is a critical component of any garden, so critical that we have created an entire session dedicated to it! A successful composting program not only helps plants flourish, but saves money too. The session will cover a range of topics including ways of integrating compost into camp, the science of compost and compost programming. Participants will walk away feeling confident in their knowledge of how compost works, their ability to integrate it into camp culture and running exciting activities. 

  • Games, activities and more

Prepare to get silly! This session is all about having fun in the garden. Participants will get that list of back pocket activities, songs, games and adventures to have in the garden. Participants will get to share some of their favorite gardentivites, learn a few new ones and maybe even collaborate to make something totally unique. 

As an organization Amir strives to make our training accessible to all interested, and sliding scales are available. If interested in more information regarding fees or the seminar in general, please contact Brenden Jackson, Amir’s Executive Director, at




How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can email our Executive Director, Brenden Jackson at

What's the refund policy?

You refund your ticket with no questions asked at least 30 days before the event. Other considerations will be given on a case by case basis. 

What happens if I stay over night? 

Besides reducing your carbon footprint, we will be hosting a campfire circle and the opportunity to connect and have fun with other garden and teaching enthusiasts.

I don't have a green thumb, is this training right for me?

Absolutely, all experiences are welcome. We will touch base on basic garden techniques and have Amir's garden manual available for more growing tips and tricks. 




Have questions about Natural Connections: Garden Educator Training Seminar? Contact Amir

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When & Where

Triple C Camp
920 Camp Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM (EDT)

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Amir was founded by friends from summer camp who understood the unique opportunity summer camps and other youth-oriented community spaces have to provide impactful social justice education. Since 2009, Amir has facilitated garden and farm-based education for thousands of youth across North America. Our greatest strength lies in “training the trainer,” using our resources available to teach our Farmers teaching techniques and stewardship skills that help passionate young adults become talented farm educators. Over the years, we have developed a model that allows any summer camp to have a beautiful, educational farm each and every summer.

We are driven by the impact our program has on campers learning where their food comes from, Farmers developing their skills as educators, and our partner communities committing themselves to social justice and sustainabilty. Amir is seeking to build a “generation of farmers” - a camper planting a seed for the first time and later saving the seed from the crop for next year, a Farmer helping counselors sort trash from compost, a camp community committing to ethical food purchasing. As the Amir community grows, we are excited to spread our educational model and commitment to justice in all forms.

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